“The (HAZMAT) videos that came out really help drive the point home by describing the containers and showing what they look like,” Tavalez said. “And they can support the instructor’s lecture or bring up topics that they may have forgotten or weren’t a part of the discussion. So the students are looking at something modern and they’re seeing modern equipment and they can relate to it a lot better that way.”

Tavalez believes that Action Training Systems was a great help. “Right now, we’re sitting at about an 80 percent pass rate for first-timers taking the test, and I definitely think the videos have a lot to do with that,” Tavalez said.


“I had eight students that came through in my last academy and all eight passed Firefighter I and six out of eight passed the HAZMAT,” Tavalez added. “None of the folks had any prior experience, so they were truly green. To go from zero to firefighter in a 20-week academy is pretty quick.”


Mike Tavalez – Training Officer – Southwest Adams County Fire District – Denver, CO